Thursday, February 23, 2012

Unique Experience, Same Old Compassion


Well, this is new.

My family and I have taken a trip to Philadelphia. I haven't been here in years and neither has my wife. The girls have never been here. Arriving today, we did the walking tour including the Liberty Bell (which is surprisingly cool and still easy to access), Independence Hall, Besty Ross's and Ben Franklin's houses, along with a few other places. We came back to the hotel and I took the girls to the pool and jacuzzi. They are in the shower now, washing the chlorine out of their hair, my wfie is busy planning tomorrow's adventures and I have come to the lobby to use the free wi-fi.

Let me just take a moment for a short rant: Why do hotels still charge for Internet access? I mean, seriously. I can't imagine that there's that much money in it after they have finished paying to lock it down. I say free wi-fi for all, especially at $160 a night. Sheesh.

Anyway, I have come to the lobby to write my 750 words and a unique thing has happened to me. It was unique for me as I've never had the experience. I was getting logged in when a guy asked if I was staying at the hotel. I looked up at him confused and figuring that it was a scam of some sort. He must have noticed the look because he changed gears immediately and apologized. What he said gives me a smile: "I was just going to say that you're cute, but you're not gay are you?" I told him I wasn't and he apologized some more and headed for the door.

It is, after all, the city of brotherly love.

The encounter has me considering a few things the first of which is that it was probably still a scam and that he decided it wouldn't work and aborted the plan. I still have both my wallet and room key, both of which never left my pocket, so at least that much is good.

The second thing is that maybe he really did think I was cute and hey, even if it is a gay man saying it, I'll take that. The day I complain about someone telling me I look good, well, that day hasn't come yet.

The third thing is that I thought, "hey, there's the perfect thing to write about tonight," only to then think, "no, I couldn't possibly write about that." For a moment, I thought I needed to keep it perfectly secret like some kind of sin. And that made me laugh enough that I knew just what to write about.

We're in Republican primary season which means that I'm hearing all about the liberal agenda, the evils of contraception, and the perils of gay marriage. Why, just look at how that gay man tried to ensnare me! For goodness sake!

Except, that's not at all what happens and there are other ways to look at what is going on. Had the man been a voluptuous blonde in knee high leather boots, I would have been advertising that I had been hit on by her and it would be nothing but good news. That a man talked to me is simply a matter of someone trying to meet someone (unless he was scamming me) and there isn't anything wrong with that. It's not as though he dropped his pants or grabbed me in any way. He simply said a something quickly and, when he found that I wasn't interested, he moved along and left me alone.

There is a line of thinking that gay people are wrong and have to be changed. There is a  parallel line of thinking that says that gay people are out to get us straight people. Please. And if that guy goes out, finds a lovely man to be with, and ends up marrying him, I'm absolutely sure that it won't harm my life, my marriage to and love for my wife, or the lives of my children. In fact, the idea that we can all be compassionate toward one another is the thing that will make the world a hundred times better than it is today (and a thousand times better than if the anti-gay ideas of these Republicans ever become law).

So, a man hit on me today. First time for that. I say that's fine. In fact, aside from a bit of question as to how I might come off more manly, I'll take it as a compliment.

Live and let live. Love and let love. Write and write on.